In short: Yes, you can receive compensation, but it depends on the circumstances. Georgia will allow personal injury victims to receive compensation only if they are less responsible than the other party to the accident. Because this is an important area of law, you should meet as soon as possible with a Georgia personal injury lawyer.
You Must Be Less Responsible than Other Parties
In some states, a victim who is in any way responsible for the accident is completely barred from receiving compensation. Fortunately, Georgia is not one of those states. Instead, Georgia will allow a victim to receive compensation for an accident if they were less than 50% responsible. Consider the following examples:
- Emily is driving too fast on the road and gets hit in the intersection by Dave. The jury finds that Emily is 49% responsible for the accident. In this situation, Emily can receive compensation for her injuries.
- Emily is driving too fast on the road and gets hit in the intersection by Dave. The jury finds that Emily is 50% responsible for the accident. Here, Emily cannot get anything because she is at least half as responsible as Dave for her injuries.
It might seem pretty arbitrary that 1% of responsible can make the difference between receiving some compensation and receiving absolutely nothing, but this is the law as it currently stands in Georgia.
Expect to Receive Less Compensation
If you’re partially responsible for your injuries, you can expect to have the total amount of compensation reduced. In fact, it will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility. Return to the example above: If Emily is 49% responsible for her injuries, and her injuries are worth $50,000, then she will only be able to receive $24,500, which is 49% of the amount. However, if she’s only 20% responsible, then she can receive $40,000.
Expect A Spotlight on Your Actions
Because the other side in a lawsuit can reduce the amount they owe—or escape responsibility altogether—you should expect a critical eye to be cast on your actions leading up to the accident. For example, you can expect the defendant’s lawyer to ask you tough questions under oath in a deposition, and you can also expect the defendant’s insurer to want to talk to you. In fact, you shouldn’t be surprised if an insurer raises the possibility of your own carelessness as a contributing factor in the accident.
At Mitnick & Associates, we understand Georgia’s contributory negligence law and how to minimize your own responsibility so that we can maximize the amount of money that you will receive. We will gather all of the relevant facts and identify whether you contributed to your own injuries. Then we’ll put together a case that convinces a jury that the defendant was more responsible than you.
Call a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Accident victims need compensation to cover their medical expenses and to pay their bills. At Mitnick & Associates, we have years of experience helping accident victims get the compensation they and their families deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 770-408-7000 or send us an email through our online contact form. Serving the Alpharetta/North Fulton area, including Roswell, Cumming, and Johns Creek.
About the Author